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Le tabou pointant la frontière entre l’aspect artistique et l’aspect documentaire de la photographie est le cadet de mes soucis. Je n’ai pas tendance à minimiser l’aspect artistique de mes photos. En ce qui me concerne, le dispositif esthétique prévaut autant que le sujet traité, surtout dans le cadre d’un portrait. Petit retour sur un portrait pris à Kathputli Colony.
Ritam Banerjee is an Indian photographer, specialising in a variety of fields such as travel, fashion, photojournalism, advertising, interiors, portraits and automobiles, among others. He started pursuing photography in 1996. A freelance photographer, Ritam also works with and is globally represented by Getty Images.
Photo report's insight:
Based out of Mumbai, Ritam has never quite understood the need to create a niche. Shooting extensively across categories—travel, photojournalism, advertising, interiors, portraits, automobiles, fashion, food—he has always sought inspiration and challenge in variety. From training his lens at the blazing dome of the Taj Palace & Tower when Mumbai was under siege in 2008 to documenting the placid course of the middle and lower Ganges, Ritam has framed things as disparate as spas and slums, ketchup and cars. Over the last decade, Ritam has worked with corporates and publications across continents, and has also been associated with the global agency, Getty Images. Apart from stills, he shoots commercial AVs, and has recently worked as a cinematographer for a feature film. Ritam has also been in the news for his theme-based calendars and his exhibitions. - Ritam Banerjee
London-based photographer, filmmaker and artist Ben Hopper created the series 'Transfiguration' in collaboration with circus artists and dancers. Using paint and powder, photographing his subjects in almost bizarre positions, Hopper creates sculptural figures that appear more abstract than actually human.
He states: "Like a mask, the layers of body paint and powder disguise the identity and release something animalistic from within." You can see much more images of the series over on his Blog, where he is also selling some prints.
The Vietnam War ruled 30 years of the country’s history in the 20thcentury. US Military invaded between 1965 and 1973 and sent hundreds of thousands of US soldiers into the war. The excuse was to prevent a Communist takeover of the whole country which was divided into the communist North, and the pro-American South. In1975 the North won the war and the last Americans left the country.
Forty years after the war there are no more foreign troops in the country but platoons of tourists visiting the old battlefields and tunnels excavated by Viet-Cong guerillas. There is a market selling old military stuff and even faking it. The Defoliation Spray called “Agent Orange” is still affecting the people and causes disabilities. During the war US Airforces dropped 7 million tons of bombs on Vietnam and there are still remaining bombs and landmines below ground. Even though America lost the war, capitalism finally triumphed and the remains of the war serve its prosperity. So we are looking at a country that has just opened up and the new generation is being exposed to a growing Western influence.
Roughly 40 years after the conflict ended, the absurdity of war and its consequences are more obvious than ever. - Hahn Hartung
"The wigmen of the Huli people aren’t like Western toupee manufacturers. They are wizards who only work with people who have fine heads of hair. What a traditional wigman does is use ancient magic to make hair grow faster than normal so it can be cut off and turned into a wig. Evidently, magic – like hair restorer – doesn’t work if the hair is long gone." - Jimmy Nelson
Photo report's insight:
Jimmy Nelson is a British photojournalist and photographer known for his portraits of tribal and indigenous peoples.
In 2009 Nelson started to work on his biggest project to-date, Before they Pass Away. He travelled for 3 years and photographed more than 35 indigenous tribes around the world in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the South Pacific, using a 50-year-old 4x5in camera. Nelson said that the project was "inspired by Edward Sheriff Curtis and his great photographs of Native Americans". The tribes that Nelson photographed include the Huli and Kalam tribes of New Guinea, the Tsaatan of Mongolia and the Mursi people of the Omo River valley in southern Ethiopia. Jimmy borrowed the funds from a Dutch billionaire, Marcel Boekhoorn.
Jason Wallis is an editorial and advertising photographer based in Birmingham, Alabama. He recently returned from a trip to Northern India to document, through portraits, the work ofNever Thirst, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing clean water to those who have none. Of the series, he says: “India is such a paradoxical place for me. It’s one of the dirtiest places I have ever been, with the most vibrant colors and people I have ever met. I met villagers that had never seen white men before. The Indian people are a curious sort, so we drew crowds every time we showed up in a village and pulled out our gear. I can only imagine what they were thinking seeing these ghosts of men pulling out their flashing lights!”
"Beyond is a documentary by filmmaker Cale Glendening which follows my assistant Ryan and I as we complete our latest photo series in Varanasi, India- "Holy Men." Although not much technical information is discussed in this particular featurette, my goal is to inspire you and give you insight into what goes into one of my personal projects. Almost every major religion breeds ascetics; wandering monks who have renounced all earthly possessions, dedicating their lives to the pursuit of spiritual liberation.Their reality is dictated only by the mind, not material objects. Even death is not a fearsome concept, but a passing from the world of illusion." - JOEY L.
Few kilometers from the border of India, German photographer Karolin Klüppel discovered the tiny, isolated village of Mawlynnong where ‘girls rule the world’. Made up of only 92 dwellings in the East Khasi Hills, the town uniquely operates as a matrilinear society, each family’s lineage traced through the surname of the wife instead of the husband. The result is a culture where female descendants are most crucial to the continuing bloodline and the youngest daughter inherits all family property. Fascinated by this rare singularity, Klüppel spent 6 months with the Mawlynnong women to create Mädchenland (Kingdom of Girls).
Along with the privilege of carrying the family name, girls are expected to take on many responsibilities at a very young age, often caring for 3 generations under one roof. As early as 8 years old, Mawlynnong females can run the entire household and tend to their younger siblings single handed. Despite their isolation from the modern world and a plethora of familial duties, the girls of Mawlynnong experience a life of freedom and reverence all their own.
Mortality is an irrevocable fact of life, yet when inevitable reminders of it surface it can be earth shattering. When Hanoi-based photographer Maika Elan‘s father was in treatment for cancer, Elan was suddenly thrust into the role of adult during his treatment. In order to keep his spirits up during this process, Elan took her father to the same park he took her to as a child, photographing him and even playing with him as he used to with her. In her World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass project statement, Elan says, “I think it’s my turn to do something for my father, as he has done for me in the past. We both went back to the same park and played like old days. I hope these pictures I make will be a big motivation for him. I hope they let him see that he is not as sick as he feels. In my heart, he is always a happy person and full of optimism.” As of now, Elan’s father has recovered enough that he has been able to return to work. That he gets a kick out of seeing his daughter’s photos of him disseminating through the ether seems to indicate her ploy to brighten his spirits worked.
Photo report's insight:
Maika Elan (Nguyen Thanh Hai) was born in Vietnam, and lives and works in Hanoi. After taking a BA in sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in 2006, Maika started to use the camera to document her daily and private life. She soon turned to professional photography, working for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010, she took up documentary photography.
Dan Winters is an American photojournalist, illustrator, filmmaker and writer.
He was born in Ventura County, California on October 21, 1962. He first studied photography and the darkroom process starting in 1971 while a member of his local 4-H club. In 1979, while still a high school senior, he began working full time in the motion picture special effects industry in the area of miniature construction and design. He went on to study photography at Moorpark College, in California. After receiving an associates arts degree there, he entered the documentary studies program atLudwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, focusing mainly on narrative photojournalism.
In 1986, he began his career in photography as a photojournalist in his home town in Ventura County, at the Thousand Oaks News Chronicle. After winning several local awards for his work, he moved to New York City, where magazine assignments came rapidly. In 1991, he moved to Los Angeles and married Kathryn Fouts, who became his photo rep and studio manager. In 1993, his son Dylan was born in Los Angeles. In 2000, while maintaining a home in LA, he moved to Austin, Texas. There he set up a studio outside Austin in a historic building built in 1903, that had originally served as a general store, gas station and post office for nearly 100 years before he arrived.
Known for the broad range of subject matter he is able to interpret, he is widely recognized for his iconic celebrity portraiture, his scientific photography, his photojournalistic stories and more recently his drawings and illustrations. He has created portraits of luminaries such as Bono, Neil Young, Barack Obama, Tupac Shakur, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg and Al Gore.
He has won over one hundred national and international awards from American Photography, Communication Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, Photo District News, The Art Directors Club of New York and Life, among others. In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Alfred Eisenstadt Award for Magazine Photography. In 2003, he won a 1st place World Press Photo Award in the portrait category. In 2003, he was also honored by Kodak as a photo "Icon" in their biographical "Legends" series.
Oleg Oprisco is a brilliantly talented photographer from Lviv, Ukraine, who creates stunning surreal images of elegant women in fairy-tale or dream-like settings. There’s one significant difference, however, that sets him apart from other artists who create similar work – Oprisco shoots using old-school film photography.
The fact that he shoots with film means that everything you see in these photos had to be created that way – it couldn’t be done digitally. “I’ve found it ideal to do everything myself. I come up with a concept, create the clothing, choose the location and direct the hair and makeup,” Oprisco explained in an interview with Bored Panda. “Before shooting, I plan the overall color scheme. According to the chosen palette, I select clothes, props, location, etc, making sure that all of it plays within a single color range.” He uses Kiev 6C and Kiev 88 cameras with medium-format film and a variety of lenses.
It’s clear that Oprisco is deeply passionate about his work. “Each of my photos is a scene from real life. That is the perfect source of inspiration for me as there is so much beauty to it.” Oprisco offered some inspiring advice for aspiring young photographers mixed in with some tough love as well. “Drop your job and shoot … if you feel that’s what you want,” he said. “Freedom, happiness, money… all will come after you let go and just shoot.”
Planners have decreed that the famed Kathputli Colony in India's capital, New Delhi, is to make way for luxury flats and shops
The roads that lead to it are unpaved, dirty and narrow. The houses are rudimentary and sparse. The meandering alleys, slippery and narrow, are almost a hazard to navigate with an overbearing smell of sewage and wood smoke.Located in the western part of India’s capital, New Delhi, this slum is known as the Kathputli (or puppeteers’) Colony — though it isn’t just puppeteers who live here. With its origins in a simple encampment for roving and mostly Rajasthani performers, this 50-year-old community today comprises some 3,500 families. They are magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, singers, dancers, actors, traditional healers and musicians as well as puppeteers, and make up what it probably the largest congregation of street performers in the world. Musical instruments — for sale or repair — line the alleys, and a simple chat can turn into a magic show. Days reverberate with song and music, and many houses are crammed with huge puppets and other props.
The local authorities have plans for Kathputli Colony, however.
“Our policy is to give slum dwellers and their children better living conditions, and that’s what we are doing,” says S.K. Jain, director of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the civic body that owns the land where Kathputli Colony stands.
So, come April 1, this unique community will disappear to make way for luxury flats and a mall. The residents will be shifted to a nearby transit camp for two years and finally to a new high-rise building, which, the government claims, will be a modern artistes community with facilities to nurture and showcase street art.
The residents are skeptical. “How are we going to store our equipment in a cramped flat?” asks Puran Bhat, the oldest resident of the Kathputli Colony and a puppeteer, pointing at the 10-to-15-ft.-high puppets lined up against the wall of his room and spilling over onto a small terrace. “And we have big families.” (In Bhat’s case, there are 18 of them.)
“Our art dictates our lifestyle and our lifestyle is our identity; the lifestyle of a multistory building is not for us,” says Aziz Khan, a magician who made Guinness World Records for his great Indian rope trick in 1995.
Almost everyone in the Kathputli Colony shares these feelings, and many have asked that the community be redeveloped in situ, as a tourist attraction. But the DDA has other plans. “Middle-class India looks upon us as a nuisance, at odds with the image of India as a rising world power,” says Ishamuddin Khan, a street magician whose rope illusion was once ranked among the 50 greatest magic tricks in the world.
Meanwhile, Bhat, in his home, works on the script of a play that the residents are planning to perform on the streets of Delhi to protest the demolition of Kathputli Colony. “We perform for the poor as well as the rich, for the Prime Minister as well as the commoner,” Bhat says. “And we have always lived like kings without worrying about the future.”
That freedom, unfortunately, is a luxury that the residents of Kathputli Colony no longer have.
These photographs are from an ongoing series that depicts the lives of my father, sister, and two brothers over the past five years as they take on the burden of my mother’s deteriorating mental health.
This work represents an extended look at the physical and emotional currents within our home. The images are a visual representation of the internal dilemmas associated with this entropic state. The photographs expose how my mother’s illness influences the condition of the space and emotional well being of my family members. This is an exploration of how individual identity is shaped and altered within our familial relationship.- Lisa Lindvay
Photo report's insight:
Chicago-based photographer Lisa Lindvay opens the door to her home in an intimate portrait of a family coping with mental illness. Though Lindvay’s mother is absent, the signs of her struggle are present in every frame, each image heavy with abandon and quiet exhaustion. Here we are privy to the deeply private tale of her father and sibling’s lives behind the closed and musty blinds, the grimy floors and junk food artifacts a constant reminder of what is broken and missing. The family maintains a stoic presence throughout the series, belaboring with an almost classical melancholy in the everyday tragedy that has befallen them. The crumbling home a metaphor for her mother’s deteriorating state of health, Lindvay’s ongoing work is a radically bare and powerful examination of familial survival when all feels lost.
Photo report's insight:
Greg Kadel is an American fashion photographer and filmmaker based in New York City. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He moved to New York to study marine biology and fine art. It was only after graduation he realized his passion for photography and filmmaking. He now spends his time living between New York, Paris, and Los Angeles.
Greg Kadel’s images have appeared in publications including American Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Nippon, Vogue UK, L'Uomo Vogue, French Vogue, Vogue Germany, Vogue China, Numéro, Numéro Homme, Visionaire, i-D, The Face, Another Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, W Jewelry, British GQ, 10 Magazine, Allure, Inside View, V, Melody.His advertising clients include Aveda, Express, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, H&M, Max Mara, Loewe, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Biotherm, Diane von Fürstenberg, Elie Tahari, Hermès, Lancôme, L'Oréal, Max Mara, Shiseido, Victoria's Secret, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Greg Kadel’s celebrity clients include Britney Spears, Casey Affleck, Stella McCartney, Ioan Gruffudd, Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin, Maurizio Cattelan, Kiera Chaplin, Hedi Slimane, and Megan Fox.
EXAMPLE OF AN AFRICAN MIDDLE-CLASS
Images from Africa in the Western media show mostly terrible misery, war, hunger and poverty. According to UN figures more than ninety percent of all Africans live neither in war nor crisis-areas and the economic growth of some African countries is among the largest in the world.
Kenya‘s economic growth is annually between five and six percent which is three times higher than the growth in Germany. This is above all to the credit of the middle class, which is probably the most crucial potential for the development of the country. Nevertheless you hardly notice anything about the lives of african middle class people. We traveled to the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi to meet and create a portray of people belonging to the middle class.
En photographie, je dirai même plus dans la vie tout court, la première impression va se jouer dans un laps de temps fugace, le temps d’un claquement de doigt. A l’issu de cette première impression, il sera possible ou non d’établir un lien avec votre sujet si vous êtes photographe, votre client potentiel si vous êtes un businessman ou votre futur dulcinée si vous êtes amoureux. Les rouages d’une relation sont les mêmes pour tous. En quelques lignes, je vous délivre les clés d’une prise de contact réussie.
Chaque étape de la vie apporte ses leçons et elles tournent toutes autour d’une rencontre. La qualité d’un service, la puissance d’une culture d’entreprise, l’importance d’une part de marché, la communication, la qualité d’une bonne photo en ce qui me concerne à plus d’un titre, dépendent de deux facteurs : les gens et votre faculté à entrer en relation avec eux. La prise de contact n’est pas si compliquée mais demande un peu de… Oh pas grand chose… Des principes très basiques. J’ai appelé ces principes de bases : les Sésames de la convivialité.
Ces Sésames sont les préalables nécessaires qui vont déterminer la confiance, l’accessibilité de votre interlocuteur. La création d’un lien avec une personne suit un processus simple : la confiance se développe au niveau des instincts de base, puis le lien entre les personnalité s’établit, débouchant sur une relation qui sera le Sésame d’un monde de possibilités infinis.
For The Shepherd’s Realm: Volume III, photographer Andrew Fladeboe captures New Zealand’s courageous working dogs, tracing the historical threads that connect them to the verdant farms and steep hills of the country’s South Island.
Fladeboe has dedicated the last few years of his career to chronicling the millennia-long bond fostered between man and dog. Canines, he explains, have been by our side for more than 30,000 years, ensuring not only our prosperity but also our survival. In New Zealand in particular, herding dogs have been a crucial part of the cultural landscape since border collies emigrated from Scotland during the 19th century, and until fifty years ago, the sheep industry was New Zealand’s leading enterprise.
The artist explains that although working dogs are rarely petted or allowed inside, they do share a close friendship with the farmers who have trained them. Herding dogs are most often border collies of huntaways, a breed native to New Zealand, and they are bred and raised to be deeply in tune with the farmers. They can comprehend seven whistled commands and often can anticipate the wishes of the shepherd with whom they work side-by-side.
This is Habib Manzah Iddi’s first motorcycle. He is part of a growing new generation of youth that is aware of the surrounding world and strives towards their dreams. They are determined not to live like their parents did, but wish to assimilate to the modern world.
According to the UN site World’s Best News, every third African is now considered middle class, around 33% of the population having up to $20 dollars to spend a day. With the extreme poverty of the last few decades slowly dissipating, people in places like Ghana can afford more than just food for survival. Across the continent, Africans are spending more money on education, healthcare and entrepreneurial endeavors, creating a landscape of rapid cultural, economic and social change. Danish photographer Ulrik Tofte documents the young people in the middle of this transformative upheaval, their lives a constant balance of old traditions and new possibilities.
The Key Is Not To Blink presents a different vision of Africa than we are used to. Tofte focused on youth in Northern Ghana, determined to capture images contrasting the typical photos of war and starving children so familiar to us. The growing middle class has created a culture more focused on the individual – people now more free to have dreams, desires and personal goals. Torn between issues of religion, pop culture, familial expectations and consumerism, young Africans have an uncertain and limitless world in which to navigate their lives. Though progress can be slow, Ghana and other countries like it continue to move forward while trying to preserve some sense of their past.
New York City-based photographer Mark Hartman spent most of March and April 2014 in India working on personal projects, including these images from his series “Bole Sol Nihang” portraits of Nihang Sikhs. Sikhism was founded in the Punjab Region in 1469 by the Guru Nanak. There are now 26 million Sikhs living around the world, making it the world’s fifth largest religion. Nihang Sikhs, also known as the “eternal army,” are the army of the 10th Guru of the Sikh tradition, Guru Gobind Singh.
The Nihangs and all Sikhs believe all people should have the right to practice any religion and follow any path they choose. Nihangs are known for their fearlessness, bravery and successful victories in battle, even when heavily outnumbered. According to Hartman, their way of life has not changed for more than 300 years, living a “nomadic, spiritual life” that is “unattached to the world.” Thanks to what he calls his “magic powers,” Hartman was granted access to this unique group of Sikhs while he was traveling in Amirtsar and Anandpursahib, in Northern India, Punjab.
“I have not seen anyone set up on-location portraits of the Nihang Sikhs,” Hartman writes about the work. “My curiosity and interest in their philosophy fueled my desire to learn more about them, and inspired me to create the work. My favorite photos of them were made well-over 100 years ago. I felt a necessity to make images of them in modern times. I have always loved the portrait work of August Sander and Edward Curtis. Their work is about the subject; nothing else. I choose to photograph these people in a similar, very straightforward manner, working within my vision. I isolated the subject, set up the scene and composition while interacting with the subject, and finally photographed the subject.”
- See more at: http://potd.pdnonline.com/2014/05/26787#gallery-6
"La photo est une trace." De mon auguste bouche, l'affirmation pourrait passer pour un truisme barbant. Le rappel d'une telle évidence est pourtant un fondamental dans la photographie. Dans le sujet que je vous propose, cette trace est celle de la rencontre. Cette dernière exprime une relation entre le photographe et son sujet. Je vous suggère donc de bien réfléchir à la pose à faire prendre que vous indiquerez à vos sympathiques sujets. Un manque d'exigence à la prise de vue risquerait de produire un portrait manquant de force affective.
For A New Kind Of Beauty, London-based photographer Phillip Toledano photographs individuals who have invested in numerous plastic surgeries. His sitters, having built their bodies in the image of some unknowable, personal ideal, are perhaps signifiers of a new dawn of physical expression. The subjects of the work, some of whom have gained national celebrity for their appearances, exude an intense eroticism, one that is alternately uncomfortable and exhilarating.
Toledano, inspired by the 16th century painter Hans Holbein, is drawn to the sculptural, highlighting the sensuous curves of the body in luscious reds, blacks, and creamy nudes.
Toledano’s subjects might at first appear as if carved from marble, cold or detached in their statuesque form, but the beauty of the work lies in questioning that impulse to judge; what, after all, defines a face as warm, emotive and human? Says the photographer, “In some ways I think that the subjects of [A New Kind of Beauty] are the vanguard of human evolution. Twenty years ago tattoos and piercing were considered fringe at best, outlandish at worse. And now they’re both quite mainstream. I think that in 40 or 50 years, when plastic surgery is cheap and prevalent, what it means to look human may be very different from what it means to look human today.”
Toledano views beauty as a sort of currency; if all can afford to surgically alter the exterior self, are we no longer reliant on our genetics, and do we then begin to have a more democratic society? Or do we simply move further away from our truest individual selves? One image of a young man, his head wrapped in cloth, much resembles Jack-Louis David’s painting of French Revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat. Are these individuals, then, revolutionaries, paving the way for “a new kind of beauty?” Take a look.
On dit que la photographie et plus récemment le téléphone portable ont favorisé le boom de l’autoportrait. Sans aucun doute. Ce que moi je peux vous affirmer, c’est que l’autoportrait peut-être une agréable récréation à laquelle j’aimerai vous convier.
Je me plais dans une photo quand j’en suis le photographe. J’aime me photographier en très gros plan, en plan moyen, couché, assis, debout. Que l’on ne se méprenne pas sur mes intentions. Je vous vois venir avec vos gros sabots pour me sermonner sur l’égocentrisme. On se trompe sur l’autoportrait. Il se trouve à mille lieux de l’exercice narcissique. D’aucuns, bourrés de poncifs comme une dinde de Noël l’est de marrons, envisageraient l’approche de l’autoportrait comme l’avatar du divan freudien. Je ne l’ai pas assez gros sur la patate pour m’éplucher le nombril à ce point. Faut se détendre. L’autoportrait, c’est aussi un jeu. Un moyen sympa pour s’affranchir de l’authenticité. Pour s’évader de soi. Comment ?
Depuis que je suis môme, j’ai toujours eu tendance à faire des grimaces devant mon miroir. Quelque part, je raillais mon image. C’est ainsi que j’aborde la pratique de l’autoportrait : comme une déconstruction ludique de soi. Un pur jeu visuel qui pousse la représentation de soi-même jusqu’à l’ironie.
Amit and Naroop are London-based photographers specialising in music and advertising, but their latest series Singh is focused on a portraits of a very different kind. Taking the most powerful symbols of the Sikh faith, the pair have photographed a group of British Sikh men from all walks of life, and focusing on the traditional turban and beard, celebrated them in all of their diverse fashions.